On (Film) Bodies and their Senses : Rereading Two African-American Independent Classics
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|The paper focuses on two African American landmark films, Melvin Van Peebles’ radical feature Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasss Song (1971) and Julie Dash’s independent classic Daugther of the Dust (1991). Both films not only represent milestones in articulating the African American experience, but also invite a reading along the proposed panel lines: the former for its radical employent of the human body as an instrument of violent resistance, and, at the same time, a site of suffering (with considerable affective potential for the audience); the latter for it meticulous attention to the cinematic construction of the (female) body, its sensual experience (and its conscious subversion of the traditional iconography of slavery, white male dominance, and exploitation).